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Discussion Starter #1
So my 2011 V has just hit 4k miles. I'm about 1k from the tire switch out. I've picked 2 tires based on recommendations of my friends and this board.

So I'm torn now on which to get. The tourance looks like a very good all around tire (I LOVE UTILITY) but the Road Pilots seem to match the majority of my riding at the moment.

Has anyone ran both and do you have a preference based on how they perform?

Do the Tourance work well as a commuter tire in regards to life, cornering and sticking in the rain?

I know the Tourance are very popular in the V Strom circles. My boss has run them on his for his last three tire switch outs and swears by them.

I'm not an aggressive rider by any means and tend to cruise at about 65-75 based on traffic and road conditions. But I love hitting the back roads (mainly just not well maintained pavement near farms and such) occasionally.

If the Tourance functions well as commuter tire I may lean that way based on the fact it opens a bit more utility and forgiveness on the hard pack and gravel. I'm sure this has been done to death but I haven't seen a thread in regards to using the Tourance as a commuter tire.
 

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Having just switched over to Tourance tires (130/80 and 150/70) here's my observations, and bear in mind that I have NOT tried dragging a footpeg: Gary in South America has detailed that he got MORE than 36,000 miles from his 130/80 front, and on my FIRST ride with the 130/80 I felt that the steering was so heavy that it startled me. Now that I've ridden it a few miles (360 miles), I don't notice that any more. I plan a dirt ride for next Tuesday, so we'll see.

I changed out from a set of ContiMotions which I loved, and got over 11,000 rear, 12,000 miles front, but I have NOT tried the Pilot Roads.
 

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Just fitted a set of Bridgestone BT023's on my Versys. I don't need a dual sport type tyre, nor do I think there is a 17" front Tourance available, at least not in the 120/70x17" that the Versys takes.
 

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I have RP2's and love them on pavement. They've worn evenly, grip really well on pavement, handle things likes pavement groves well and expect will last well over 10K miles. RP3's seem like the obvious choice as I don't want to impair on pavement handling. Pirelli make the dual sport Scorpion in the correct 120/70 & 160/60 sizes. They have a more aggressive tread but I suspect will wear quicker (flat spot) as they are not dual compound like the Michelin tires. My thinking is the Versys suspension does not really allow much speed off pavement anyway so street tires are fine for the very limited running I do on dirt and gravel.
 

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Have you considered Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires available in 120/70 and 160/60-17's, as fitted on Versys 1000?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just fitted a set of Bridgestone BT023's on my Versys. I don't need a dual sport type tyre, nor do I think there is a 17" front Tourance available, at least not in the 120/70x17" that the Versys takes.
Yep I just plain forgot about the front. Sometimes I think I have to much information/things going on in my head.
 

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It's a pity that there is no proper front Tourance fitment available as I ran them on my 12GS when I had it. I usually got 9k out of the rear and 11k off the front. I, for one, would never stray from the recommended sizes, especially on the front.
 

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It's a pity that there is no proper front Tourance fitment available as I ran them on my 12GS when I had it. I usually got 9k out of the rear and 11k off the front. I, for one, would never stray from the recommended sizes, especially on the front.
I went to the 130/80 (rear) Tourance on the front after reading reports from several guys who've done the same, including Jdrocks who has done some AWESOME rides on them, and Gary - DBD34 - in South America! http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5141&highlight=riding+South+America

Pirelli has the MT 60-R DS tires in our stock sizes, which may be my NEXT type.
 

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Putting the rear Tourance on the front will require you to raise the front fender, which means that you will need to fabricate a bracket to do the job. You may run into interference problems between the fender and the brake hose bracket at full compression of the fork. Having ridden a V set up that way, I can tell you that it changes the handling of the bike. It makes the steering heavy. Once the bike starts tipping into a turn, the tip in suddenly becomes rapid and the bike feels like it's falling into the turn.

Unless you plan to spend a lot of time riding on dirt, the compromises of using a Tourance are probably not worth it. For occasional forays onto dirt roads, street tires are fine.

I've worn out a couple of pairs of Pilot Road 2s and I'm on my second pair of PR 3s. I can strongly recommend them. With the dual compound, they give good mileage and really stick in the rain. Based on your description of your use, I'd suggest that you go with street tires.

Mike, I live near Annapolis and I'd like to see your pannier setup. Maybe we could get together some time.
 

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A word of warning. If you have never changed away from the stock tire sizes on a motorcycle it has a profound, and usually negative effect, on handling/feel due to a change in the tire profile (tread curvature) and front/rear height (just as raising or lowering the forks 1/2 inch contributes to a noticeable change in handling). I've never had a positive experience on other bikes with non stock sizes although I have yet to try, and probably won't, non stock size tires on the Versys.


Pirelli has the MT 60-R DS tires in our stock sizes, which may be my NEXT type.
From what I have read the MT 60 is a super moto tire with excellent grip on dirt, gravel and pavement and high performance all round. The only downside, apparently, is the soft rubber compound they use to achieve this performance has a shortened lifespan.
 

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I went to the 130/80 (rear) Tourance on the front after reading reports from several guys who've done the same, including Jdrocks who has done some AWESOME rides on them, and Gary - DBD34 - in South America! http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5141&highlight=riding+South+America

Pirelli has the MT 60-R DS tires in our stock sizes, which may be my NEXT type.
I also run the 130 rear on the front and the 150 in the back. Very happy with the set up so far. I have just over 10k on them and the back is just starting to show some wear. The front looks new still.

I'm not out there dragging my pegs but am happy with how they corner. No issues for how I ride. Probably have done 500 miles of gravel and they are a huge improvement there.
 

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Why not try the Pirelli Scorpion Trail instead? They come in the correct sizes for the Versys (120/70-17 and 160/60-17). I've read they are the stock tires on the Versys 1000, Triumph Tiger 800 and Ducatti Multistrada.
 

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there ya go, a sensible report from a rider who runs this setup, not speculation from a rider who doesn't.

the 130/80-17 front on the Versys is very old news at this point, and has been run by many riders in varying conditions over countless miles. whether it works is no longer an issue. my preference in this setup is the Tourance, the best tire in this category, although many different tires have been run.

130/80 Tourance from March/2009. in May of that year the bike went to the Yukon on that setup. the Tourances from that trip came home with the tires scuffed right over near the edge, please don't tell me that the Versys won't handle with the 130/80 and 150/70 combo. i have plenty of miles on this setup, other riders have a multiple of my miles.



and yes, that tire is mounted standard rotation.
What's the benefit of moving to that size in your opinion?
Also if your mainly staying on street riding is it worth it to have them or better to keep stock sizes on?
 

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Just mounted Michelin PR 3's on my V and put about 175 miles on her today starting in 40 degree weather with wet pavement in the morning, onto dry towards the end of the ride with temps in the 50s. Very good feel on the sweepers wet or dry. Looking forward to many miles on these tires.
 

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What's the benefit of moving to that size in your opinion?
Also if your mainly staying on street riding is it worth it to have them or better to keep stock sizes on?
A 130/70 rear tire on the front enables him to use the excellent, more off-road capable, and durable Metzeler Tourance tires on both front and rear, as it's not available in a front 120/70. The taller and a bit wider front tire offers better protection for front rim in rocks and stuff, as well as better traction.
For mainly street riding, you may as well stick to a 120/70 - 160/60 combo.

My front Avon Distanzia 120/70 works quite well with rear 150/70 Conti TrailAttack (not available in 160/60 rear or 120/70 front)... I'll probably try Pirelli Scorpion 120/70 - 160/60 next time though. I'll see what's available then.
Michelin's Pilot Road 3 is pretty interesting too. There's also a Pilot Road 3 Trail version. "XST and 2CT technology in a state-of-the-art road tire, designed especially for adventure touring bikes", but only available in 110/80-19 front and 150/70-17 rear.

http://www.michelinmotorcycle.com/index.cfm?event=pilotroad3
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the information gents. I have about 1k before I do the tire change. Since the pirelli's come in stock sizes I think I'll try that out first.

I am by no means a gravel/dirt rider but I am a big fan of utility if I can get the same performance/utility out of the Pirelli's as the Metzler without having to do much effort I think I will give them a try on this first go around. Just to make things a bit easier on me. While I think the RP3's are a bit more suited to what I use my Versys I want that extra utility as a just in case.

Once again thanks. Everything I do on the Versys is a brand new learning experience for me and the more I can learn I think it just makes me a bit more proficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mike, I live near Annapolis and I'd like to see your pannier setup. Maybe we could get together some time.
I was just in Annapolis a few weeks ago its not to far from me and the back roads going there are pretty nice. I'd be happy to show it off. We should definitely try to meet up.

I'd love to see another Versys in my state.
 
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